Hydrological Summary for January 2016 Published

Wet and mild conditions again dominated the UK in January contributing to the warmest and wettest November‑January on record. It was the fourth wettest January for the UK (in a series from 1910) with all regions registering above average rainfall; more than double the average was recorded in north-eastern areas and along the south coast. Although unsettled and stormy at the beginning and end (including named storm ‘Gertrude’ on the 28th/29th), a cold snap mid-month brought snow to many regions, with the deepest falls in northern and upland areas. Soils across the UK remained saturated following the wet conditions in January and the previous two months. In north-east Scotland many rivers established new monthly mean flow records (for the second consecutive month in some cases). A number of these rivers also established new January peak flow records (for the Don and Ythan these were the highest for any month); several burst their banks and caused extensive and severe flooding. Average outflows from Great Britain were the highest on record for January. Reservoirs across the country remained close to capacity and stocks for England & Wales were appreciably above average. Groundwater levels responded to recharge and the majority of levels were in the normal range or above. With soils saturated, river flows and groundwater levels above normal and further unsettled weather at the beginning of February, there is an enhanced risk of fluvial and groundwater flooding across parts of the UK.

The full Hydrological Summary can be found here.